For Sports Injuries of the Foot or Ankle, Call a Sports Podiatrist
Posted by Jenn F. on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
The Charlotte Observer recently published an article about North Carolina doctor Dr. Robert Anderson that explains the day-to-day life of an elite sports medicine doctor specializing in foot and ankle trauma.1http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nfl/carolina-panthers/article32762919.html The experiences they discuss very much parallel those of our very own Dr. Josef Geldwert, one of the most well-known authorities on foot and ankle sports injuries here in New York City.
What Top Sports Medicine Doctors Like Dr. Bob & Dr. Geldwert Do:
They share their expertise.
Whether from the NFL, NBA, NHL, or WNBA, top players of every kind come to sports medicine doctors like Dr. Josef Geldwert and Dr. Bob Anderson. Yet, most sports doctors who see competitive athletes playing in professional and college leagues will also make room in their schedule for high school or elementary school athletes, as well as amateur adult athletes and others with foot and ankle problems.
Dr. Josef Geldwert served as the team podiatrist for the NY Lizards in 2014 and still consults with some players, as well as players from the NY Liberty women’s basketball and NY Magic women’s soccer teams. At different times in the year, he works with the NY Road Runners and Central Park Track clubs, and Newsweek and A&P Tennis Classic events, as well as trials for the US Olympics and Women’s World Cup Soccer. He shares some of these duties with Dr. Ryan Minara, another board-certified podiatrist at The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine, so he can keep his waiting list reasonable for everyday New Yorkers.
They perform surgeries when necessary.
Dr. Bob Anderson has performed surgeries on Cam Newton, Stephen Curry, and Derek Jeter, to name a few well-known sports personalities. Our center doesn’t name drop, but we’ve operated on thousands of patients over the past decade, including some you’d recognize. As Dr. Geldwert will tell you, it feels like millions of dollars are at stake every time he operates on a patient, regardless of their notoriety.
“Surgery is not something we take lightly here,” Dr. Geldwert says. “In most cases, it’s viewed as a last resort when other innovative therapies are available. Sometimes we’ll get a patient who has gone through various treatments elsewhere, who has a very advanced stage of injury, or whose career depends upon the repair where surgery makes the most sense off the bat.” Patients can rest easy, knowing that Dr. Geldwert is trained in the latest surgical advances, which enables him to perform the most minimally invasive operations.
They help athletes continue training.
“The nice thing about having done this now for 20-plus years is I’ve got myself established where I can say this is what I think is best for the player/patient and this is what I think we can push the limits on safely,” Dr. Anderson told his hometown paper.
Similarly, Dr. Geldwert helps New York athletes work through injury to keep their skills sharp as they heal. “Our rehabilitation team is central to the work that we do here. Unlike hospitals where you’re just in and out of surgery, a great deal of counseling and one-on-one patient work happens at a sports medicine center. You just don’t get that sort of individualized attention from a primary practitioner,” explains Dr. Geldwert.
He adds that a background in biomechanics and training in sports coaching gives him a unique ability to guide players through successful injury rehabilitation. “We’re not just helping you walk from one end of the hospital hall to the other, let’s put it that way!” says Dr. G.
They are responsive.
Derek Jeter once said of Dr. Anderson that he was very personable and honest. “He gives you all the information you need,” Jeter said. “You could call him or text… and he’d get right back to you if he doesn’t answer.”
Dr. Geldwert’s office has a reputation for bumping up appointments to earlier times — particularly if they know a patient is in pain or has a pressing engagement coming up and needs answers fast. Our team is available by email or phone whenever patients need advice.
“Often we hear from people who are just having a hard time coping with the notion of taking it slow,” says Dr. Geldwert, “so I joke that podiatrists are part therapists too!”
They deliver the tough advice.
The primary goal of a sports medicine doctor is to get players healthy and back to the game as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, in some cases, a doctor’s expertise and knowledge of the body requires them to give a tough prognosis.
For instance, Cam Newton had been through procedure after procedure, suffered setbacks with re-injury, and ended up with instability so great that he had to consider his long-term health over the short-term desire to return to the field — a decision he’ll be weighing heavily this season. Last year, Derek Jeter finally chose to retire rather than continue down the tumultuous path of surgery after surgery.
“In the end, it’s not just about one particular pain relief treatment or surgery,” says Dr. Geldwert, “but about the support you give a patient over the course of his or her career. That’s where the real value of working with a specialist comes into play.”
They maintain certain guiding principles.
Dr. Bob Anderson lists a number of principles he operates by, which are important for any great sports medicine doctor. First, the doctor has to love what he does. He can’t let stress slow him down or ego get in the way of providing effective care. He can’t let coaches or agents push him around, either. In the end, a good sports medicine doctor has to put aside the pressure that comes with working on high-profile athletes and stick to his guns to provide the treatment he knows the player needs.
The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC
The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC is no stranger to treating Olympic athletes. Our respected, board-certified podiatrists are on the Medical Advisory Committee for the United States Olympic Marathon Trials. We diagnose and treat acute injuries, help top-level athletes safely continue their training and skill building (despite injury), and offer strategies to prevent future injuries. Our centers in Manhattan and Westchester, NY offer the latest technology, including extracorporeal shockwave therapy and platelet rich plasma injections, to help Olympians get back to their sports as quickly and efficiently as possible. Contact us to learn more.
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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.